The Zonta Club of Pampanga in the Philippines, District 17—in partnership with Angeles City and SM City Clark—convened to for their Zonta Says NO to Violence against women and children activity.
The women’s desk from the local government units, private companies’ corporate social responsibility department heads, different foundations, non-governmental organizations and students were gathered and raised the flags to join Zonta in their quest to eliminate violence.
The club also recognized three Centennial Champion Awardees and three Centennial Community Awardees for their exemplary contribution to 2019 projects of Zonta.
The highlight of the event is the dance interpretation of “Break the Silence, No to Violence” performed by four groups from different schools in Pampanga. The performances had intense messages on the issue of violence against women. Also included in the show is the Aeta children’s dance interpretation on the issue of child marriage that is commonly practiced in their community.
The Zonta e-Club of West Africa, District 18, unveiled a new advocacy project during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
The project, “Orange the World: Men Against Rape” calls on men to take a stand against attitudes that normalize rape culture, child marriage and all forms of violence against women and girls.
Throughout the 16 Days, the club is posting graphics featuring photos and quotes from men supporting their initiative on their Instagram and Facebook accounts.
The Zonta e-Club of West Africa is asking men to fill out a form to show their support.
The form, in part, reads: “There is overwhelming evidence that the majority of sexual assaults are perpetrated by men against women. However, not all men are perpetrators! In fact, some men are victims and the majority of men have never raped or sexually assaulted anyone. For decades, men have been left out of actions geared toward the elimination of rape and other forms of violence against women but, at Zonta e-Club of West Africa, we are looking to change this by giving men an opportunity to speak up as advocates for women’s rights. To this end, we invite you to add your voice to our 16 Days of Activism Campaign. Show the world that you stand against gender-based violence!”
The club is partnering with Thrive Care and MDM Entertainment for the project.
For the past seven years, Zonta Bahamas has been at the forefront of activism to end violence against women and girls. Zontians have been out there in the community, on public and corporate platforms, bringing awareness and encouraging Bahamians to change the face of violence in this country.
This year, they were at it again, launching the 16 days with a big event in Rawson Square held in conjunction with the Department of Gender and Family Affairs, the Ministry of Health and NGOs. The launch was held on 25 November, the International Day to End Violence Against Women and Girls. The 16 days officially ends on 10 December, which is the United Nations’ appointed International Human Rights Day.
The club’s theme for this year is “From Activism to Advocacy.” One of Zonta’s partners for the 16 days this year, the National Congress of Trade Unions’ Women’s Association, is pushing for the Bahamas government to ratify C-190 – the International Labour Organisation’s Convention to end violence and harassment in the workplace.
It takes a lot of work to pull off the many events Zonta holds – and it’s all volunteer work. Kayla calls it a passion of hers and despite her busy professional life, she will continue to work hard for causes for the betterment of women and girls.
As part of their advocacy and service efforts during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign, the Zonta Club of Bradford, District 4, asked 16 other organizations to join them in participating in the campaign.
The organizations showed support by donating items to the Victims’ Resource Center at the YWCA.
Read more about the action here.
The Zonta Club of Cebu 1 recognized the 16 Days of Activism and Zonta’s dedication to ending child marriage with a series of awareness programs.
On 8 November, Zontians held a commemoration event recognizing Zonta’s Centennial, as well as the 50th anniversary of the Zonta Club of Cebu I. This event included an “opening salvo” held at the Ayala Mall to an audience of about 1,000 people, including community leaders.
Also on 8 November, a research-interactive forum discussed the roots of child marriage.
A play was also presented that focused on how early pregnancy can lead to child marriage. This was attended by about 500 people.
On 29 November, about 200 Zontians and guests celebrated its golden year, featuring the Hall of Fame of Past Presidents from 1981 to 2018 and their projects that empowered women to spearhead prevention of violence against women. There were also poster exhibits focused on ending child marriage.
The largest assemblage was of 5,000 students, teachers and Zontians on 10 December at the University of San Jose Recoletos Coliseum. This was during the event “Shout Out NO to Child Marriage.” The event was covered by a regional tv network, as well as print media.
Members of the club say this series of integrated programs on child marriage had an impact on the community, which resulted in the formation of a new Z Club, comics serials, oratorical contests and an international forum on women’s transformative leadership.
As part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, the Zonta Club of Pocatello, District 8, collected and distributed feminine hygiene and personal care items to distribute to 16 local places for underserved women and girls to have free access to the products.
Members delivered products to one stop a day for 16 days. Each location received at least one box of supplies and some even received two boxes.
Club members collaborated with three businesses to have drop-off locations so non-members could donate and participate as well.
Club members selected 16 places around their community that they felt offered the most access for women and girls in to gain free access to the items. The stops included seven junior and senior high schools, three battered women or homeless shelters, a pantry on the campus of Idaho State University and several other locations that offer services or assistance to a wide variety of community members.
Members who dropped off the donations took selfies and posted them on social media at each stop to help spread the message to end violence against women. They also used the hashtags #womendoing and #tamponladies to help attract attention to their cause.
For many girls, child marriage can seem like the only option. Watch what happens when we give girls choices.
By the end of this year, the Ending Child Marriage Project has the potential to reach 2.5 million girls in 12 countries.
As we begin 2019, reinvigorate your dedication to ending child marriage by joining Zonta International in saying NO to the violating practice.
Zonta Club of de Baronie Breda, District 29, shared the very important message of saying NO to violence against women with the public by handing out yellow roses in their city center on 25 November.
The Mayor of Breda lit the tower of the Grand Church orange. Watch a video of the tower lighting up orange here.
During the 16 Days of Activism, Zonta International, as well as many clubs, focused on ending child marriage. For one club in Dhaka, this focus aligned with a current project from which they have seen success for two local girls.
Through a club-wide service project, members of the Zonta Club of Dhaka II, District 25, have supported two girls in changing their lives after avoiding the pressures of child marriage.
Mohsina Akhtar and Shoma Islam are two young women from remote villages of Bangladesh and both participate in Shathi Samaj, an education project by the Zonta Club of Dhaka II.
While studying, Mohsina Akhtar was forced to get married and her in-laws did not let her continue with her studies. Mohsina underwent both mental and physical abuse during this time. Mohsina reached out to the Zonta club for counseling and advice. With the support of the club members, she was able to leave her marriage and go back to her studies. She is now a student at the University of Dhaka, studying finance. She hopes to become a chartered accountant.
When she was young, Shoma Islam was under pressure to discontinue her studies to get married. However, with the help of the members of the club, Shoma is now a 4th-year student of home economics at the University of Dhaka and is doing very well. She is also currently working with a renowned NGO in Dhaka and is also continuing her studies in food and nutrition. She has a dream of becoming a nutritionist.
Members of the Zonta Club of Dhaka II plan to be by their sides until they fulfill their dreams.
From 25 November to 10 December, during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, Zonta club members embraced the Zonta Says NO to Violence Against Women campaign and advocated to end violence against women and child marriage in their communities.
Watch the video below to see a few examples of how club members said NO during the campaign.